God Is Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be
troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27
This past weekend my kids spent the night at my parent’s house. My wife was out of town, and I had to be at the church early Sunday morning, so Braden and Lainey went to Mimi and Papa’s house. Since Braden skipped his nap to help us with yard work, I assumed he would go right down and sleep through the night. He fell asleep right away, but he didn’t sleep through the night. It wasn’t his first time spending the night, but for whatever reason this time was different. Around midnight he woke up screaming for Mom and Dad. He was so worked up it took him longer than usual to calm down. When he finally started to calm down he said ‘Papa, can you pray for peace? Because I am sad!’
 
Even though our two-year old son doesn’t fully understand what peace is, he understands enough to know he needed it! In his 2-year old eyes something wasn’t right, and he needed peace. Little does Braden know that this is just the beginning of his need for peace. At some point in his life he will be betrayed, have to face his fears, experience anxiety, and have hard days full of conflict. Yet he will have a choice to make. To pursue peace from this earth, or pursue the peace that Christ has to offer.
 
Jesus said it this way, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ The type of peace the world offers is completely different than the peace that Christ offers. For starters, the peace of Christ is eternal, and the peace of this earth is temporary and fleeting. In addition to that, the world’s version of peace is to get rid of, avoid, or numb your circumstances. This can be done in a number of ways like eating too much food, binge watching Netflix or your favorite show/sport, consuming too much alcohol, and many more ways. This pain-numbing type of peace isn’t really peace at all. It’s actually just the avoidance of a problem, even though it may feel good in the moment. But Jesus offers peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of our conflict. Not after the conflict, not apart from your conflict, but in the middle of it. This type of peace, in the midst of a terrible circumstance, is foreign to the secular world. Yet for those of us who trust in Christ, it is accessible right where we are at, and it surpasses understanding.
 
So, what does this mean for us? It doesn’t mean our pain, conflict, or temptations go away. Yet it does mean that we can have hope and joy amidst our pain, conflict, and temptation. When Braden was done praying for peace, his circumstances didn’t change. Mom and Dad didn’t magically appear in the middle of the night. Yet his child like faith allowed him to experience peace that surpassed the circumstances of mom and dad not being there. And because of peace he was able to get rest, one of the definitions of peace. Rest, tranquility, and freedom. Will you rest in Christ today as he brings rest to your soul?
 
Questions for reflection.

  1.  Are you willing to believe with childlike faith today that God can bring peace into the middle of your conflict, pain, or messy life situation?
  2.  How you can live with childlike faith today, so that God can bring peace into your life?  
Jay Quick | Student Ministries Director

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